By Henry W. Simon
A useful consultant for either informal opera lovers and afficionados, this quantity includes act-by-act descriptions of operatic works starting from the early 17th century masterworks of Monteverdi and Purcell to the trendy classics of Menotti and Britten. Written in a full of life anecdotal kind, entries contain personality descriptions, old historical past, and lots more and plenty extra.
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Extra resources for 100 Great Operas And Their Stories: Act-By-Act Synopses
His last labor, though he is too polite to refer to it, had been getting Cerberus back out of Hades. ) Scene 2 This scene takes us to the gates of Hades. Alcestis wishes to enter at once—to die; but the specters of Hades tell her she must not enter before nightfall. Admetus, who has followed his wife, now comes in, hoping to take her place, but Alcestis nobly refuses. The god of death, Thanatos, appears and gives Alcestis the chance to renounce her vow, to remain on earth, alive, and let Admetus take her place.
Radames is about to be tried for treason. She waits in a passage near his cell and demands that he be brought forth. When he comes, she pleads to be allowed to save him. All she requires is that he give up Aïda and marry herself. Even when he learns that Aïda has escaped (though Amonasro has been killed), Radames turns down her offer of life with stoic scorn. He is led off by his guards. As the priests, solemnly chanting, file past to go to the dungeon where the trial will take place, Amneris reviles herself.
That is why his mother does not believe him at first when he says there are three kings calling on them. He is also a very curious child. That is why he asks the kings quite personal questions—such as whether they have blue blood and what is in that box they are carrying. And the kings are very simple and honest men. That is why they give Amahl very simple and honest answers. And that is why they are very much pleased when the shepherds (Amahl’s neighbors) come and bring them simple gifts. The nicest gift of all turns out to be a shepherd’s dance.
100 Great Operas And Their Stories: Act-By-Act Synopses by Henry W. Simon